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Law after anthropology: object and technique in Roman law

Pottage, Alain (2014) Law after anthropology: object and technique in Roman law. Theory, Culture & Society, 31 (2-3). pp. 147-166. ISSN 0263-2764

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0263276413502239


Anthropological scholarship after Marilyn Strathern does something that might surprise lawyers schooled in the tradition of 'law and society', or 'law in context'. Instead of construing law as an instrument of social forces, or as an expression of processes by which society maintains and reproduces itself, a new mode of anthropological enquiry focuses sharply on 'law itself', on what Annelise Riles calls the 'technicalities' of law. How might the legal scholar be inspired by this approach? In this article, I explore one possible way of approaching law after anthropology, which is to find within law's own archive a set of resources for an analogous representation of law itself. Drawing on the historical scholarship of Yan Thomas, I suggest that the Roman conception of law as object offers an engaging counterpart to the anthropological take on law as a specific set of tools or, technicalities, or as a particular art of making relations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 12:21
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2024 20:30

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